Frank Gore Redux

I'd like to continue with the Frank Gore-themed posts and discuss the elephant in the room (well at least in my version of the room), the injury history.  It's something I've thought about from the moment we drafted him, but more so this year as his bruising running style has become so much more apparent.

The Rocky Mountain News ran a feature today about Frank Gore and his ability to overcome a checkered injury history.  This got me thinking about Gore's future as a 49er.  He has yet to be locked up to a long term deal due to the injury concerns and whether he could make it through a whole season.  He's clearly proven he can and a long term deal should be just around the corner.  However the injuries are still something to be considered along with his tremendous talent (he was Clinton Portis's top backup in 2001 and was ahead of Willis McGahee on the depth chart after 2002 spring practices)

College

  • Tears his left ACL leading to injury redshirt
  • Tears his right ACL October 2, 2003 against West Virginia; misses remainder of season
  • Leaves September 23, 2004 game vs Houston with tendinitis in right knee
NFL
  • Surgery on both shoulders last offseason
  • Concussion in 2006 Week 10 victory over Detroit
While I think he is clearly overcoming his injuries, one has to wonder how they will affect him over the next few years, let alone ten years from now.  With the average career length just under four years, it is certainly something worth considering.  And considering the way the league goes through players and quickly moves on to the next big thing when they have no more use for the previous player, it's an issue worth considering.

What are your thoughts on the subject?  Did Gore simply have a run of bad luck in terms of his knees and shoulders that he's finally overcoming?  Or will his bruising running style significantly shorten his potential career?  I still think he should be signed to a long terms contract ASAP considering the tremendous ability he brings to the table.  However, this is certainly a topic worth discussing.

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